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TV Bulletin Board (July 1) -- BET hits double-digit millions with awards show/Jackson tribute

Host Jamie Foxx opened the BET Awards in Jackson guise. BET photo

Sunday night's annual BET awards show, largely devoted to a Michael Jackson tribute, topped the week's cable charts and almost ranked as the most-watched program on any network.

Hosted by Terrell native Jamie Foxx and featuring an unbilled appearance by Janet Jackson, the show drew 10.7 million viewers nationally, edging The Learning Channel's heavily publicized episode of Jon & Kate Plus 8 (10.6 million) for the week of June 22-28.

Only two TV programs did better. NBC's Tuesday, June 23rd edition of America's Got Talent had 11.5 million viewers and a rerun of CBS' NCIS on that same night drew 11.1 million viewers.

***On another ratings front, the Peacock's MSNBC is crowing about beating CNN for the first time ever in the national quarterly Nielsen ratings for weekday prime-time programming.

MSNBC averaged 946,000 viewers for the April-June period, edging CNN's 939,000. The left-leaning cable news network also out-pointed middle-of-the-road CNN among advertiser-preferred 25-to-54-year-olds, by a score of 289,000 to 261,0000. MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann was the network's top draw, averaging 1.159 million total viewers, with 350,000 of them in the 25-to-54 age range.

Right-leaning Fox News Channel continues to outdraw both networks in prime-time.

***it's always something with former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader Melissa Rycroft. The latter day Good Morning America correspondent has announced her engagement to Dallas boyfriend Ty Strickland.

"Sometimes the stars align and the clouds part and everything works out the way it should," she told GMA co-anchors Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts on Tuesday's show.

Rycroft, 26, initially became famous for being jilted on ABC's The Bachelor by Jason Mesnick, who had given her his final rose, only to renege. She then immediately segued to the network's Dancing with the Stars, making the finals and placing third.